The removal of Infowars from iTunes and App Store over violation of Apple’s hate speech rules triggered a range of comments with Alex Jones the man behind Infowars, speculating that tech companies colluded to expel him from multiple platforms, such as Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest. Apple CEO Tim Cook has now shed some light on the reason why the conspiracy theorist’s content was purged from the Apple ecosystem.
In a recent interview with VICE, Cook revealed that removing Infowars podcasts from iTunes and the ban on the app was just part of Apple’s content curation policy. He also clarified that he didn’t coordinate with executives from other tech companies in evicting Jones or Infowars.
What users want from us and what we’ve always provided them is a curated platform. We think that what the user wants is someone that does review these apps, someone that does review the podcasts, someone that on like Apple news, where a human is selecting the top stories. And that’s what we do.
When asked specifically about the banning of Infowars, the Apple chief pointed that he doesn’t want to explain the company’s content policy in view of a single event. “But I think there’s enough there that reasonable people could agree that if you’re going to curate, that that should be off”, Cook vaguely explained.
Cook rejected the theory that he coordinated with executives from other tech companies to target Alex Jones. The widely-loathed political commentator has been vehemently propagating the idea that Democrat-controlled tech companies have silenced ‘conservative’ voices like him. “I’ve never even had a conversation about this with any tech company. We make our decisions independently. I think that’s important. Honestly, I’ve had no conversations and to my knowledge, no one in Apple has”, Cook added.
He also pointed out that Apple doesn’t take a political stand, and this policy is clearly evident from the diversity of content present in Apple’s ecosystem, which ranges from ‘very conservative to very liberal’.